Two men are facing fraud related charges for allegedly tampering with Vancouver ATMs so users’ bank card PINs would be recorded upon being tapped.
Catrlin Virgil Diugu, 37, has pled guilty to his charge, and 33-year-old Liviu-Marius Dogariu has been charged with possessing a device to obtain computer service, Vancouver police said in a news release Thursday.
Police were notified by Scotia Bank in early May that a number of its bank machines has been manipulated to temporarily disable security features.
Police said the four people are believed to be involved in what they are calling a “sophisticated operation.”
The group allegedly entered the ATM vestibules at night, set up a discreet camera to capture a customer’s PIN, and then placed a cover over the card reader to prevent the card from ejecting at the end of the transaction.
They also took additional steps to remove the customer service contact information on the machines, police said, so customers would need to leave before making contact with the bank.
While Diugu and Dogariu are in custody, two others have been released pending a further investigation.
“It appears these people are a part of a group making their way across Canada from Ontario to B.C. Our investigators are following up with other police agencies to see if there are any links that could help with unsolved files,” Const. Jason Doucette said.
“If your card gets stuck in a bank ATM, please be patient, and don’t leave until you receive clear directions from bank staff.”
Anyone who has fallen victim to this scam is asked to contact their bank and make a report with their local police.